Watch TV, or change the world: Robin Sharma | art and culture | Hindustan Times
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Watch TV, or change the world: Robin Sharma

Robin Sharma, bestselling author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, shares his secrets for success. He says, "We are all geniuses, but you can either watch TV or change the world. You can’t do both."

art and culture Updated: Mar 08, 2013 18:10 IST
Sarit Ray
Sarit Ray
Hindustan Times

We’re not sure if we’re in the right place. In a boardroom inside a five star hotel, suits are walking around shaking hands; there’s even a standard-issue Bluetooth headset tacked onto someone’s ear. It feels more like the setting for a business interview, less like an interaction with a bestselling author. Robin Sharma is on the other side of a glass door that’s slightly ajar. He’s not in a suit. He doesn’t even have a phone on him. He deliberately left it in his hotel room. It’s a “distraction”; one of the things you have to cut out to be successful, he says.

He must know about success. His book, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, has been flying off the shelves for 10 years, having sold a mind-boggling three million copies, and now going into its 100th reprint. He’s written 14 other titles and runs a leadership training firm. So, peppered with punch lines, he shares his advice on achieving the Holy Grail — success ‘Live by your own values’ I have a ritual. I exercise and have a proper diet, which helps maintain energy levels. I also get one hour of silence every day. And I live by my own values, versus the values society sells us. I was successful as a lawyer, but I didn’t love what I was doing.

Strip away the distractions
Your mindset should be that of a leader, not of a victim. Victims are busy being busy. On an average, every 11 minutes, people are distracted — by SMSes, TV or the Internet. If you strip away the distractions, the noise from your day, you will be left with hours — enough time to be fit, and do real work.

Watch TV, or change the world
Know what to do — then do it. It’s not enough to know how to be productive. You have to outwork and outlearn others. Not one day, but every day. We are all geniuses, but you can either watch TV or change the world. You can’t do both.

Do what frightens you
Most people take failure personally. It’s actually part of the process. Over time, people stop believing in themselves because society puts them down. And then, they are afraid of failure. But the only way to fight fear is to roll up your sleeves and overcome it. Most fears are not real; so do what frightens you. Every time you do that, you take back power.

Spend an hour without your smartphone
We watch TV and complain because everyone else doing it. We follow the crowd because that’s the rule of the herd. Instead, sit in a room and read, go to a park to recover your focus and energy, and spend one hour in the morning without gadgets. Technology is an awesome service, but a terrible God.

App to go
It plays natural, soothing sounds like raindrops or a crackling fire. Robin says it puts your mind in an alpha state, giving you space to think.

Robin’s five-point checklist
Get fit like Madonna.
Wake up at 5 am every day and focus on your mind, body and spirit.
Learn from things around you.
Spend an hour cut off from technology every day.
Practise deliberate gratitude. Count five simple blessings every day and write them down.